Friday, November 27, 2020

Staff denied access

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made a stop on his campaign trail in Plattsburgh last Friday, April 15. Word started to spread about his coming arrival only days before, with initial confusion of when and where the rally would take place.

For private events such as this, media are required to receive “media access” by form of request. The Trump rally was no exception. Media outlets all over the Plattsburgh area and the North Country, Cardinal Points included, wanted to cover what some people saw as the most important event to come to Plattsburgh in quite some time.

On Trump’s official campaign website, donaldjtrump.com, there is an application where media can request press certification to enter Trump’s private events as media personnel that would give those approved permission to use professional cameras and video equipment, as well as potentially giving those people a better chance at getting interviews with organizers, campaign workers or Trump himself, making for what could be a stronger more powerful news story.

Cardinal Points editors first heard rumors Tuesday, April 12, about Trump’s visit to Plattsburgh, which was then slotted for Saturday, April 16, still unsure of a confirmed location. CP and PSUC Administrators reached out to PSUC alumnus and director of social media for the Trump campaign, Dan Scavino, with no response, and they said there was nothing more they could do for assistance.

It took until Thursday, April 14, for the media request page on the website to give applicants the Plattsburgh option n the drop down box, after CP editors had continually refreshed the page since the news reached the newsroom to make sure they could get access to this event. Five editors, which was the maximum number of people who could be submitted at one time, requested access Thursday afternoon, with a “pending” notice until access would be granted.

The next morning, those editors still didn’t have media access to the rally. Editor-in-Chief Lisa Scivolette sent an email to Kathryn Wellner, who is a representative of the campaign, regarding the list of students with a pending status.

“I do not have either of you on my credentialed media list and won’t be able to give credentials to this event today,” Wellner said in an email.

Scivolette curiously asked for the reason why, after submitting the request in a timely manner, and going through all of the necessary steps, Cardinal Points had never been approved.

Wellner declined to respond to the inquiry. Press Republican, WPTZ and PSTV were just a few media outlets that were granted access to the rally and in attendance last Friday.

Email CP at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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